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Willowview Hill Farm


Log In To A Slice Of Rural Life
By Nikki Alvin-Smith

Log In To A Slice Of Rural Life By Nikki Alvin-Smith

If you long for a slice of the rural lifestyle why not make your dream a reality? Winter is coming and it is the perfect time to sit down and make plans.

Good things do come in pre-assembled packages and not all of them are small packages. Some are the size of a house! These are not kits, and are not some ‘do-it-yourself and see what flies’ kind of packages. These are properly pre-assembled configurations that are built in factory then put together by a team of professional Amish builders to be re-assembled by them on site. Your site! Your dream property is attainable and you may have been putting off your dream. Now is the time to ask yourself whether the new ‘abode’, either for yourself, your staff, or your family is not already built. Why wait?

When you add a structure to your existing property it is important to remember that is also adds value to the property. If you add a log home to your property as a guesthouse as part of your business, you should also ask your accountant about how best you can deduct mortgage interest and amortize the initial expenses. If Uncle Sam is up for shouldering some of the expenses then why not take full advantage of those options?

Country lifestyle, whether it is for weekend use or for year around enjoyment, is at your fingertips in a quick and easy process that you can orchestrate from your armchair. Yes, you can literally ‘log in’ and start your build design, get a quote and enjoy the process. Honestly, the things you can buy from a computer!

Where? Experienced companies like Zook Cabins, of Atglen, PA, offer pre-assembled log homes that you can peruse, choose and build with great value finance options and all the hand holding you need through the process. The fact that you can have a log cabin home built in a streamlined production process in the factory means no delays in the build due to bad weather. It also means the lead time is just three to five months depending on the time of year. That is pretty awesome. There are many choices too so there is something to fit every budget and they deliver up and down the East Coast.

Making a choice in the design of your log cabin should be based on a number of factors. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Use of the Home, Now and Later

If you have an equestrian property, you may need more accommodation for visiting students, clinicians or barn help and grooms. It is great to be able to keep your primary home as your own and separate your business and employees from family life. This type of build doesn’t need to be as elaborate as a primary residence, but it needs to be well sited and well planned nonetheless.

On the other hand perhaps you want a second home in the mountains that you can enjoy with family, friends, hunting buddies etc. for now, with a plan that you might retire to the peace and quiet of the woodlands in later life and use the home year round.

Log In To A Slice Of Rural Life By Nikki Alvin-Smith

The use will determine the size of the structure you will need, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage to accommodate your family and visitors.

The Site

If your property is mostly wood and mountainside and the area has a good snowfall in winter, then the Chalet design, Adirondack or Mountaineer design might be a great choice. These designs can be sited into the lee of a hill, providing protection from bad weather while still being tall enough to take in great views from the balconies.

If your property is sited by a creek, that swells in Spring melt to a river, then a solid concrete basement with the structure set on top is a smart move. The Chalet style is good for weather protection from flooding and also from high snowfall and snowmelt.

If you seek privacy and want to blend into the ‘Backcountry’ then the Settler, Frontier, Lincoln, Musketeer or Pioneer all offer a traditional hunting cabin/settler appeal.

Log In To A Slice Of Rural Life By Nikki Alvin-Smith

Traditional builds such as the very popular Cape Cod provide useful second floor living space. You can use it now for storage and convert it to living space later if you are working with a stretched budget.

One Level or Two?

The advantage of a ground level living space is obviously the lack of stairs. Stairs can be a hazard to the infirm and elderly and to young children. A second floor adds privacy and for some people, the second floor also provides a better sense of security for sleeping. Without doubt it provides a better access to views.

Endless Decisions

There are many decisions to be made in the details of the design when you build a home. The choice of floor materials, windows, doors, cabinetry, lighting and the host of other materials and design decisions can be overwhelming to say the least.

When you work with a professional team like Zook Cabins you benefit from their advice and help with all the decisions in the build. Their website even offers a step-by-step guide to help make the process easy. Their team can complete the details of the build design quickly based just from a rough drawing of the layout you would like inside the home. You can select from the floor plans that Zook Cabins already have laid out if you prefer.

Zook Cabins will provide all the plans you need to take to your local township or municipal office for permits. It is recommended that you visit your local zoning/building authorities before you begin the process so you have begun a conversation for the specs and individual needs of your authority. Zook Cabins also guides you through the process of the site preparation including specific plans that you can provide to your chosen site contractor for both the foundation or crawl space/basement and drawings for the location of the well and septic.

In other words you can have your home custom built without the additional headache and expenses of finding your own architect, engineer and building contractor. You won’t be buying tools and equipment to do it yourself and spending precious time standing in the aisles of a box store searching for the right products, lifting and lugging the materials home, over-purchasing and making returns and generally making costly mistakes. Instead you will be stepping straight into your log home and enjoying it from day one.

Log In To A Slice Of Rural Life By Nikki Alvin-Smith

If you’d like to check out a case study of a Zook Cabins customer you can do that too by clicking here. It is a realistic insider’s look at the process of the build from start to finish when you work with the team at Zook. Yes, Zook Cabins are very proud of the product they produce and the method by which it is developed and delivered.

“We’ve been doing this a long time and we have the knowledge and ability to produce a great home for our customers in a short period of time with the minimum of fuss and no drama. We have a long list of satisfied customers and the Zook Cabins team love what they do,” said Matt Albrecht, Senior Project Manager at Zook Cabins.

It is interesting to note that when shopping for your log cabin home it is important to compare apples to apples. All materials and workmanship are not created equal. It is also true that when reviewing a quote you should not expect that just because the log home company is close to your property that their overall costs will be cheaper because of their proximity for delivery. Always review the entire package in detail.

Warranties offered and guarantees in writing are also paramount. When you select the firm you want to give your business to be certain to review their track record, check out their references, and be confident that you are working with a company that has a stellar reputation.

There is something wonderful about the cozy feel of a log home and the warm hug that envelops you when you walk in the front door. This home does not have to remain in your imagination or on the big screen in holiday movies, make it your reality and live it!

Log In To A Slice Of Rural Life By Nikki Alvin-Smith